Texas has more than 1,200 incorporated cities. They range in size from Houston, with 2.1 million residents, to over 400 towns with populations of less than 1,000.
Texas cities can levy both local property and sales taxes to fund police and fire departments, hospitals, libraries, parks, utilities, economic development and other public services.
Many of Texas’ cities post their budgets, annual reports and detailed spending information online. The Comptroller recognizes cities demonstrating exemplary local transparency achievements through its Transparency Stars program. Visit our Transparency Stars page to learn more about the program.
Even when they’re available online, deciphering city financial reports can be a challenge. That’s why we developed our Guide to Understanding Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) and accompanying videos.
Texas cities issue debt to fund a variety of purposes, including infrastructure projects, public utilities, sports facilities and performing arts venues, etc. They can issue both tax-supported and revenue-supported debt, the latter to be repaid through the revenues generated by the project that the debt supports, such as a park’s admission fees.